KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The man who drove his vehicle nearly a half-mile along an Overland Park sidewalk and killed a teenage girl walking home from school on April 12, 2019, had no medical issues and his car had no malfunctions, according to an Johnson County court affidavit.
Sudhir Gandhi, 71, of Lenexa, also did not suffer any injuries in the crash, which killed 14-year-old Oxford Middle School student Alex Rumple, according to court documents.
Gandhi was charged Jan. 15 with second-degree murder in Rumple’s death.
“Gandhi was transported to the hospital and evaluated by doctors who found no apparent medical cause for the crash,” according to the affidavit. “While speaking with medical personnel, he denied any loss of consciousness, denied hitting his head, and denied any other symptoms or medical issues.”
Gandhi told police his Taurus “sped up instead of stopping,” the affidavit said. He said he believed he was pressing the brake pedal, but the vehicle continued to accelerate.
However, a mechanical inspection found “no problems with the brakes, steering, suspension, or engine throttle control systems” that would account for Gandhi’s erratic and, ultimately, deadly driving.
He claimed not to realize he had struck or almost struck any pedestrians.
Rumple was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she died from injuries sustained when she was struck by Gandhi’s vehicle on April 14.
Overland Park police were called to the scene of an injury crash around 3:15 p.m. on April 12 near West 123rd Street and Switzer Road.
Witnesses reported seeing a northbound tan Ford Taurus leave its lane, drive along the bike lane then jump the curb and continue down the sidewalk.
At least one witness interviewed by police did not observe the brake lights illuminate on Gandhi’s vehicle.
The vehicle continued north through an intersection at West 124th Street, where traffic was stopped for a red light, nearly striking another vehicle as it traveled across the road and continued on the sidewalk on the other side of the street.
Two Blue Valley district schools, Oak Hill Elementary School and Oxford Middle School, are located in close proximity.
Gandhi’s vehicle nearly struck three juveniles near the northeast corner of West 124th Street and Switzer Road.
A short distance later — after striking a small sign, a bush and a telephone cable box — Gandhi ran over and killed Rumple.
Gandhi’s vehicle continued north, hitting a signal pole and speed limit sign before tearing through 80 feet of a 6-foot-tall wooden privacy fence and finally coming to a stop.
All told, Gandhi’s vehicle traveled nearly a half-mile along the sidewalk east of Switzer Road.